I’m not sure if this one is on me, on Sterling Gates, or on a combination of the two of us, but the Bizarro-speak in this book seems less like Bizarro-speak and a heck of a lot more like Hulk-speak. Bizarrogirl – and all of the other Bizarros actually – speak less contrarian than the Bizarro-speak I have in my head. The end result makes these Bizarros seem less silly and appear more ignorant. Bizarrogirl’s actions make up for that apparent ignorance, however, as she doesn’t hesitate to unleash her flame breath, super strength, or solid-vision. The story isn’t significantly handicapped by the Bizarro-speak, but more than once the Bizarro-speak put a zig in the story where a zag should have gone.
I’ve enjoyed the “Supergirl” issues from Gates and Igle when they haven’t been impeded by crossovers or over-arching Super-book-wide stories. Heck, I’ve even enjoyed most of those, but this issue really allows Gates and Igle to get back to exploring what makes Supergirl such a wonderful character in her own right. Supergirl is given a chance to shine against an unbalanced foe, and her supporting cast is there, completely for support. Her relationships with Lana Lang, Kimi Hoshi, Jimmy Olsen, Cat Grant, and José Delgado are given a chance to resume and grow.
Igle’s art never ceases to amaze me, a fact that continues through this issue. His drawing of Bizarrogirl running around with one boot on and the other off in a field of flowers is chilling, fanciful, and fun. Igle has always been a technically sound artist, capable of good drawing and strong storytelling, but with his work on “Supergirl,” Igle is propelling himself further upward. His work is nothing short of fabulous. This would be a very different book without him. I’m glad Igle’s here. His detailed backgrounds – the tunnel’s brickwork alone would have most artists set back a month or more from their deadline – expressive characters, and novel presentation of Supergirl’s and Bizarrogirl’s powers (specifically x-ray vision) make this book a visual treat.
The coloring in this issue, however, is more of a liability than an asset. During the Cat Grant and Perry White scene, I found myself wondering what malady the Planet’s editor was suffering from, as the coloring made him look rashy and bloated. The color choices are fine in and of themselves, but the effects applied and the sheer overabundance of effects utilized makes the coloring as a whole look sloppy and hurried. I’d recommend less dodging and burning and maybe a few tonal gradients.
I’ve been enjoying “Supergirl” from Gates and Igle more than I ever thought I would enjoy a “Supergirl” comic, and eagerly anticipate each subsequent issue. This Bizarrogirl storyline seems like it is going to be among the highlights of the crew’s work on the title and also makes for a wonderful spot for new readers to jump in. Gates and Igle have something good here, and Amy Reeder’s cover presents a nice peek into the wonderment inside this issue.